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Family Organic Garden Maintenance

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Who else is enjoying summertime in the vegetable garden?  Our family went from anxiously awaiting for things to sprout to wondering how to manage the green, leafy masses in our little organic garden.
My husband has been great about weeding and tidying up things in the garden.  He’s been training, tending and tying up sturdy tomato plants (all grown from seed).  He’s more militant than me about removing most of the extra, volunteer tomato plants that popped up in the wrong places.
I’ve been pruning squash plants, ridding each plant of a couple of its oversized green leaves.
Squash Leaves Need Pruning
We’ve been gently adding a light layer of straw mulch as needed to discourage weeds and encourage moisture to stay in the soil.
Mulched Bed of Tomatoes, Basil, Peppers
A large stand of kale that had gone to seed had to go, because we needed room for pole beans and squash in that bed. Our kids made a project of removing kale seeds from the pods and saving them to replant.

A couple of garlic plants looked like they’d been disturbed, so we pulled them up.  Their bulbs were gorgeous and the entire plants (green tops and all except the root)  were cut up into a wonderful mixture with other garden herbs for baking in a chicken the next day.

Homegrown Garlic
We decided the gigantic stand of horseradish had to go, to make room for the lettuce and herb bed to thrive throughout the summer.  
Large Horseradish  Stalks Overwhelming Lettuce Bed
That large stand of plants became this many washed and peeled horseradish roots and finally a jar of vinegar-infused horseradish to enjoy this summer.  Horseradish roots are so hardy that we’ll likely see another rise again from the ground.

So, everything is in its place, 95% of the weeds are gone and we even added another narrow vegetable bed for additional plantings just outside the fence.  We’ve sprayed the tomatoes and peppers with a calcium product to prevent the blossom rot we experienced early last summer.  We’re still trying to fertilize every couple of weeks with fish emulsion (although there are other organic fertilizers out there), and we’re hoping for the best.  
Cornstalk amid Potato Plants
It’s fun to see our few corn stalks taking off as well as potato plants and pole beans.
Pole Beans
The carrot tops look so delicate and we’ve yet to see evidence of celery, so we’re not sure what went wrong with that. It’s all part of the process.  Happy gardening!

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